Brackley Town u16's kicked off the start of their MJPL season v St Andrews Junior at their new home pitch in the village of Croughton
A lovely sunny morning sets the scene with Brackley moving the ball well early on. St Andrews looked threatening on the break but both sides final pass not quite finding its destination as both sides defended well. Midway through the first half Alex Pestana broke the deadlock from outside the box after beating his man & drilling it home past the helpless keeper to give Brackley the deserved lead 1-0. St Andrews had a chance almost from the kick off but their effort went agonisingly wide & Brackley's celebrations nearly short lived. Both sides battled hard but Brackley looked good with the half almost at it's end when St Andrews pulled it back level before the break. HT 1-1
At HT we discussed how St Andrews we trying to hurt us & how we could prevent this from happening again in the 2nd half, so we slightly changed formation & things went well for us straight from the restart. Soon Brackley were back in front with Alex Pestana grabbing his second of the afternoon & within a few minutes Kia Bailey made it 3-1 with a lovely 1st time shot across the keeper to give Brackley a commanding lead. The game got a little feisty after that which seemed to inspire St Andrews more than it did us. Brackley were now struggling to contain the pressure the opposition were imposing on us at this point but St Andrews couldnt capitalise or so it seemed. More & more pressure was put on the Brackley rear guard & we were really struggling to get a hold of the ball at this point when St Andrews dominance paid off to make it 3-2. Brackley at this point were now up against it & the formation was altered to try & stem the flow of wave after wave of attack & battling to keep the lead. St Andrews however did make us pay & drew level with 5mins left of the game still to play. The game opened up a bit & both sides had half chances to nick it but with the game almost done Brackley failed to clear & legs got tangled only for the ref to award St Andrews a match winning penalty right on the death. Fortunately for Brackley James Baker made a terrific save to deny them victory & grab a point in the end. Not a game for the faint hearted but a huge lesson for the boys & one they need to learn quickly.